Recently I asked a group of children, ''What would you do if you lived in a country where you were constantly told how to think and what to do?'' The replies came rapidly: ''I wouldn't do it!'' ''I'd leave the country!'' ''I'd pray to God.'' ''I'd go to court and have the laws changed.''
Deeply ingrained in these children was a strong sense of their rights. They would do something if their rights were infringed upon. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy n1 writes, ''It is man's moral right to annul an unjust sentence, a sentence never inflicted by divine authority.'' n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health, p.381.
Have you ever considered health to be one of your rights? It is. God gives man freedom from disease; He does not sentence us to sickness. The Bible describes God as ''the health of my countenance.'' n3 In fact, the Scriptures are filled with accounts of God's healing and saving power. Knowing God restores health.
n3 Psalms 42:11.
Christ Jesus said, ''I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.'' 4 And he fulfilled the law in his ministry by healing sickness, blindness, lameness - even death - all in the name of Almighty God. Jesus clearly established the relationship between knowing God and finding health. He said to a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years, ''Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.'' n5 She was restored to normal health.
n4 Matthew 5:17.
n5 Matthew 9:22.
These words of Jesus help to explain how he was able to heal: ''It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.'' n6 We learn from his teachings - and his example - that God, our Father, sends us only good; that God is ever present and destroys all darkness and doubt; that we need not fear, because God governs all and we can expectantly turn to Him for our well-being.
n6 John 6:63.
Through the teachings of Christian Science many today have been encouraged to study the Bible anew, with fresh views. Such Scriptural study enlarges our understanding of God's laws of goodness and health, strengthens faith, restores hope, brings healing.
I found this true in my own life. For many years I had suffered from colds and flu; exhaustion was a common result. But through the study and application of Christian Science, I discovered that health was from God, not dependent on the body. I could exercise my divine right to health.
When symptoms of flu and exhaustion came, like an attorney I pleaded my case against them and for God's goodness and allness. I was determined not to have my God-given right to health infringed upon. As I prayed, I glimpsed the fact that God did not create sickness - that I was subject only to His law of health. I began to understand that God did not give me weakness and that I was subject only to His law of strength. My perception of these spiritual facts sapped sickness and exhaustion of their supposed authority. The result? I was completely well and have not suffered from these difficulties since.
It really doesn't make sense to believe that God sends sickness or to believe that He creates His sons and daughters to spend their days incapacitated. God forms us whole, complete. He makes us good. He causes us to do His will. And He eternally loves us. He establishes no law that infringes on our ability to be His likeness.
So, if you feel ill, claim your divine right to health. Do something about the infringement. Mrs. Eddy writes, ''Instead of blind and calm submission to the incipient or advanced stages of disease, rise in rebellion against them.'' n 7 You can. God made you free.
n7 Science and Health, p. 391.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken- hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Issaiah 61:1 2 Science and Health, p. 381. 3 Psalms 42:11. 4 Matthew 5:17. 5 Matthew 9:22. 6 John 6:63. 7 Science and Health, p. 391.